By Steve Mutua.

This is a common question with many people who want to understand life. There are several things to consider if we are to answer our minds.

First, who is a good person? What parameters do you use to designate somebody as good? Most likely, you use very superficial evaluation like their mannerisms and public behavior which is dictated by society. The good book says in so many places that “No one is good except God”. Jesus told one guy not to call him (Jesus) good. Now, if Jesus refuses the title “good man”, who else could qualify?

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Being “good” as opposed to being “bad” is very relative and ever-shifting. If you see a guy stealing money from someone you will brand him a “bad” person.

If the same person offers to buy you lunch or gives you some of the money, he is now a “good” man! See? Hence, we dispense with the idea of a “good” person. That automatically answers the question but let’s see some other ideas.

What do you call a “bad thing” happening to a person? What is bad? At what point does bad begin and end? In the good book again, a story is told of Joseph who was betrayed by his jealous brothers (a bad thing?) only for him to prosper a lot and help them later.

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So was the betrayal a bad thing? For who? How? If Joseph had not been betrayed, would he have risen so high in Pharaoh’s government? If the brothers had not betrayed him, who would have saved them later during the famine? Think!

Another one: I read about a Sufi mystic who had many well-off followers but he was a small-time thief so he was always getting sent to prison. His followers were bewildered.

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When they asked him why he does that when they could supply whatever he needed, he told them there are people in the prison who need his help and the only way he could get to them was by getting jailed.

See? For this Master, is being jailed a “bad thing”? Jesus falls here too. Was his crucifixion a “bad thing”?

Karma is another. Next!